Gaeta, a place shared the sea with Naples but belongs to Rome. So, as a half Roman, we love the idea of Gaeta beach day.
A few weeks ago, I have been on the road with a couple of friends and a dog. Our destination is Gaeta, a place shared the sea with Naples but belongs to Rome.
What does it mean?
Gaeta is probably the southernmost town of Lazio in Italy, and if you follow the coastline from there, Campania is what is ahead. If you are not familiar with Campania, then you shall know Naples is the biggest city in the Campania region in Italy. Interestingly, Gaeta, instead of a tourism place, it’s more a military location, where to its port, you will find the navy base. However, the locals don’t care (this is exactly why we love Italians). They enjoy their beautiful long beach (Gaeta Spiaggia) on the other side of the small town and successfully turn Gaeta to a mini summer vacation spot. We find more locals than foreigners.
Probably too many talks about Naples, Capri, and Positano, even Ponza which is super close to Gaeta, but not Gaeta. Surely, it is not breath-taking, but it is perfect for a short and effortless beach day trip from Rome.
Spend the whole afternoon on Gaeta Beach
We went to the public Gaeta beach, Spiaggia Serapo. It is such a big bay with endless umbrellas stretching out the beach. You can always opt-in a classic umbrella-with-beach-chairs option like most Italians, but there is space to just put a beach towel and lie down.
Serapo beach is full of fine sands which is my favorite part. Do you struggle a lot when you have to walk in and “climb” out like a zombie on a rocky beach? I really do and I don’t like that. Why? See the awesome Italian artist’s explanation below (I can play this one on repeat!)
The seawater is surely not like those beaches in Sicily, for example, Tonnara di Scopello, but it’s quiet and “friendly” with a light blue-and-green shade. You can also swim or simply walk to the rocky cliff and explore the small cave there.
Treat yourself well with Italian seafood and Neapolitan pizza
A day trip away from Rome, except for a dip in the sea, a sun-bath on the beach, and filling up hair with sea salt and sandals with sands, we also made our stomach comfortable.
Antica Pizzeria da Ciro, serves us very well for both lunch and dinner! I cannot imagine I spent the most important two meals of a day in the same restaurant.
It’s on the other side of Gaeta (near the Port, next to the Navy base) and in a quiet corner where a view of the open bay is. When the day ended slowly, we recognized that is the best sunset spot, approved by the locals. Well, it was also hard for us to lock our eyes on the sunset, while the mouth-watering pizza was right on our table! Ciro does Neapolitan style pizza, not only the pizza dough but also the topping. So, make yourself a King of all the seafood and tomatoes as those are the ingredients of Naples and the nearby area. A personal suggestion is their white pizza (without tomato sauce) with zucchini flowers, anchovies, and yellow tomatoes.
Yes, yellow tomatoes, you hear me! That’s the special one you have to try in Italy.
About the travels from Rome to Gaeta
Here, we talk about public transportation only. If you have a car and can drive a car in Italy, that’s “perfetto”. I promise you won’t have a headache when trying to find a parking place in Gaeta.
We took the train from Roma Termini to Formia-Gaeta. On arrival, take a bus to either Formia Port or directly to Gaeta. It’s not a free ride, so get your bus ticket to Gaeta from the bar (tobacco shop) inside Formia-Gaeta station. If you arrive at Formia Port, wait for the bus to Gaeta there with the same ticket. Here is Cotral, the bus website you can find some information about the trip (but don’t expect it offers excellent user experience, it’s Italy).
Gaeta is a very small town, which has a beach for the public and a port for boats. Arriving with a bus, you can choose to get off anywhere as long as it’s inside the Gaeta city zone (which means you start to see residential houses intensively).
When going back to Rome, check the last direct train from Formia-Gaeta station. The timing could be quite tight if the Gaeta to Formia-Gaeta station bus comes late, which in Italy, you shall know the bus comes always late.
So, good luck my friends, and I hope you could have a Gaeta beach day like I did.
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